The Pasadena Symphony celebrates its 85th Anniversary Season with Russian blockbusters by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Borodin with must-see Artists and Conductors for its 2012-13 Classics Series at Pasadena’s own “Carnegie Hall of the West”, one of the finest concert halls in the nation – Ambassador Auditorium.
The season opens on October 6, 2012 with the return of the infectious dynamo, conductor Mei-Ann Chen, followed by California native Edwin Outwater, burgeoning conductor Tito Muñoz, and 2012 Grammy Nominee Nicholas McGegan. Georg Solti Prize winning conductor Jose Luis Gomez and Composer-in-Residence Peter Boyer who will share the podium for the season finale.
Must-see guest artists include: 16 year-old Gilmore award-winning pianist George Li, Rachmaninoff International Prize winning pianist Rueibin Chen, Grammy Nominee violinist Caroline Goulding, soprano Yulia Van Doren, Pasadena Symphony’s own Principal Clarinetist Donald Foster, and prolific recording artist and superstar violin virtuoso Chee-Yun. All celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the Pasadena Symphony – an ensemble of Southern California’s most talented and in-demand musicians heard around the world.
Season highlights include both Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9; both Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and his Symphony No. 4, Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Beethoven’s Egmont, Huang Li’s Spring Festival plus the premiere of Composer-in-Residence Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1.
“The 85th Anniversary Season is shaping up to be our finest yet. We look forward to returning conductors Mei-Ann Chen and Tito Muñoz as well as an enlightening performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under the informed and inspired direction of Nicolas McGegan,” states Paul Jan Zdunek, Chief Executive Officer. “We are also very excited about working alongside Peter Boyer. He is an amazingly versatile talent, which is why he is in high demand in the orchestral and film industries.”
Off the heels of a sold out concert this past December, the Pasadena Symphony’s Holiday Candlelight returns on Saturday December 1, 2012. This unique holiday concert has already become a seasonal staple for the community at the architecturally exquisite and acoustically sonorous setting of Pasadena’s All Saints Church. Conductor Grant Cooper and Soprano Lisa Vroman join an array of choruses in this intimate and festive concert of holiday melodies performed by candlelight – an aural respite that is sure to summon the spirit of the season!
The 2012-13 Classics Series Concert dates are October 6, November 3, January 12, February 9, and April 27 with both 2 pm matinee and 8 pm evening performances plus Holiday Candlelight on December 1, 2012. Purchase a Season subscription to enjoy up to 20% savings at 626-793-7172 or online at www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org. Single tickets go on sale June 1, 2012.
All Classics Concerts take place at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium each Saturday with two performances at 2pm & 8pm (full schedule below)
October 6, 2012
RACHMANINOFF SEASON OPENER
Mei-Ann Chen, Conductor
George Li, Piano
Beethoven Egmont Overture
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
Shostakovich Symphony No. 9
Sixteen year-old Gilmore award winning pianist George Li’s playing is full of “dreamy lyricism – notes like pebbles dropping into a pond – alternated with a Romantic turbulence that gives meaning and soul to musical swirls of notes,” raves Cleveland Classical. Alluring, sensuous, romantic, virtuosic, poetic – all are suitable in describing Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto. An infectious dynamo, Maestra Mei-Ann Chen returns to Pasadena with Shostakovich’s boisterous and joyful Symphony No. 9 and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture – an opening night everyone is talking about!
LA Times –“Listeners had little choice but to fasten their seatbelts and hang on.”
Chicago Sun Times – “Mei-Ann plays and speaks from the heart, the body, and the head, and the audience and the players have embraced her [Chicago Sinfonietta].”
Rocky Mountain News – “…a confident, engaging musician with a fresh degree of drama, lyricism and transparency. Her podium manner is thrilling to watch, passionate and committed, yet on the money with cues and pacing. Watch for her [Colorado Symphony].”
November 3, 2012
Edwin Outwater, Conductor
Rueibin Chen, Piano
Huang Li Spring Festival Overture
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
“There is still happiness, simple, naïve happiness,” said Tchaikovsky of his Fourth Symphony. It was a breakthrough work, a bounding creative leap in scale, intensity, and ambition combining theatrical flair with emotional contrasts that reach epic proportions – music so personal that it becomes universal. Rachmaninoff International Award winning pianist Rueibin Chen performs his talisman, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, brilliant with delicious wit and one of the world’s most irresistible melodies popularized by the movie “Somewhere in Time.”
The Washington Post – “Outwater showed that he is an accomplished conductor, with a lyric sensibility and a gift for blending high drama with subtle, convincing emotion… [He] produced a near-crystalline performance that kept the music tight and exciting. Definitely hot – and definitely a hit.”
Boston Globe – “Rueibin Chen plays with white-hot energy, steel-fingered power and athletic virtuosity.”
The Times (UK) – “Rueibin Chen mesmerized the audience as his fingers traveled the ivories with at times mind-boggling precision and swiftness and a level of emotion which delivered each note, each chord, to the heart of each member of the audience.”
January 12, 2013
BRAHMS AND SIBELIUS
Tito Muñoz, Conductor
Carolyn Goulding, Violin
Boyer “Apollo” from Three Olympians
Sibelius Violin Concerto
Brahms Symphony No. 1
Brahms was hailed by Schuman as “the rightful heir to the mantle of Beethoven.” His First Symphony is a worthy successor with its dramatic strength, lyrical power and triumphant soundscape – it is arguably one of the greatest first symphonies ever written. Composer-in-Residence Peter Boyer’s vibrant universe of sound takes center stage with Apollo and Grammy Award nominated artist Caroline Goulding performs the Sibelius Violin Concerto, which contrasts the dark, dreamy and reflective with an air of passionate urgency, gypsy dance and boundless virtuosity.
Pasadena Star News – “Muñoz’s athletic, albeit stylish conducting style was infectiously exuberant and the orchestra was razor-sharp in its playing, a foretaste of things to come.”
Cincinnati Inquirer – “Muñoz led with fluid motions, he inspired precise atmospheric playing, and every gesture made musical sense…Clearly, this is a major talent in the making.”
Gramophone – “A precociously gifted virtuoso…Goulding is a violinist of impressive technical polish and musical maturity.”
February 9, 2013
McGEGAN CONDUCTS MAHLER
Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
Yulia Van Doren, Soprano
Donald Foster, Clarinet
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Mahler Symphony No. 4
Many a love affair with the symphonies of Mahler has begun with his Fourth. Grammy Award nominated conductor Nicolas McGegan returns to lead the warmly lyrical “Sunlit Symphony”, an optimistic look at a golden age of innocence through a child’s song of a heavenly life at the gates of paradise. Known for his aural luxuriance, charismatic playfulness and utmost musicianship, McGegan delivers this sonic masterpiece as only he can. Making his Pasadena Symphony debut, acclaimed Principal Clarinet Donald Foster plays Mozart’s beloved Clarinet Concerto – ethereal, playful and deeply moving.
Los Angeles Times – “If Nicholas McGegan is conducting, closing your eyes means missing something vital. Musicians respond instantly and the music springs into life and stays alive…”
Los Angeles Times – “He conducts without a baton, excitedly scooping the music up with his hands and arms…. McGegan led with characteristic flair, punching out rhythms and merrily getting maximum ping for his buck.”
The Financial Times – “…Van Doren sang gloriously, with subtle inflection, dynamic sensitivity and spunky charm…”
April 27, 2013
TCHAIKOVSKY VIOLIN CONCERTO
Jose-Luis Gomez, Conductor
Peter Boyer, Composer-in Residence & Conductor
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Borodin In the Steppes of Central Asia
Boyer Symphony No. 1 (world premiere)
Superstar violinist Chee-Yun is “a talented instrumentalist, with the kind of high-gloss tone that pulls sensuously at the listener’s ear,” raves New York Times. A perfect match for the intensely passionate music of Tchaikovsky’s personal love letter – his indelible Violin Concerto. Jose Luis Gomez, winner of the Georg Solti conducting prize, leads the orchestra in Borodin’s majestic landscape of central Asia. Plus, the world premiere of Composer-in-Residence Peter Boyer’s Symphony No. 1 conducted by the composer himself – a grand finale to Pasadena Symphony’s 85th anniversary season!
Strings Magazine – “Chee-Yun has the poise and natural self-confidence of a seasoned veteran and born performer. Her technique is brilliant and utterly secure, her tone like butter, smooth, rich and flawless.”
To purchase tickets, visit www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org or call (626) 793-7172.
Pasadena Symphony and POPS
ABOUT MEI-ANN CHEN
One of the most dynamic young conductors in America, Mei-Ann Chen has recently completed her first season as Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. During this time, the impact of her energy, enthusiasm and high level of music-making has already been felt by the orchestra, audiences and entire community. In July of 2011, she also assumed the music directorship of the Chicago Sinfonietta, only the second person in the orchestra’s history to hold this position.
Among Ms. Chen’s upcoming highlights are debuts on the Chicago Symphony subscription series, the Netherlands Philharmonic at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and the Aspen Music Festival. Other debuts include the symphonies of Jacksonville, Naples, North Carolina, San Diego, Sarasota and Tucson, as well as the Louisiana Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony and the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland. She will make her Cincinnati Opera debut in June 2013, leading a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
In great demand as a guest conductor, Ms. Chen recently stepped in on short notice for her very well-received subscription concert debut with the Cincinnati Symphony. She has also appeared with the symphonies of Alabama, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton (Canada), Florida, Fort Worth, Nashville, National (Washington, DC), Oregon, Pacific, Pasadena, Phoenix, Seattle and Toronto, as well as the Rochester Philharmonic and Grand Teton Festival Orchestra. Worldwide engagements include all the principal Danish orchestras, BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Graz Symphony, National Symphony of Mexico, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony. Festival appearances include Wintergreen, Chautauqua and the Texas Music Festival in Houston.
The first woman to win the Malko Competition (2005), Ms. Chen has served as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta, Baltimore and Oregon symphonies. The positions in Atlanta and Baltimore were sponsored by the League of American Orchestras. Recipient of the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship, she has appeared jointly with Marin Alsop and Stefan Sanderling in highly acclaimed subscription concerts with the Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony and Florida Orchestra.
In 2002, Ms. Chen was unanimously selected as Music Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon, the oldest of its kind and the model for many of the youth orchestras in the United States. During her five-year tenure with the orchestra, she led its sold-out debut in Carnegie Hall, received an ASCAP award for innovative programming, and developed new and unique musicianship programs for the orchestra’s members. She was honored with a Sunburst Award from Young Audiences for her contribution to music education.
Born in Taiwan, Mei-Ann Chen has lived in the United States since 1989. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan, where she was a student of Kenneth Kiesler. Prior to that, she was the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees, simultaneously, in both violin and conducting. Ms. Chen also participated in the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C. and the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen.
ABOUT EDWIN OUTWATER
Edwin Outwater is Music Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in Ontario, Canada. Now in his fourth season, he has revitalized the orchestra and gained international attention for innovative projects and imaginative programs.
Mr. Outwater’s recent highlights include his professional opera debut conducting La Traviata with the San Francisco Opera, a subscription concert with the San Francisco Symphony that featured a new world premiere composition by Duncan Sheik, two PDQ Bach events – one with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and one with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, an evening of Nico Muhly’s orchestral works at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, a performance of John Adams’ revised version of the Dr. Atomic Symphony with the BBC National Symphony Orchestra of Wales, an evening with Nikki Yanofsky at the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa and leading the very first appearance of the YouTube Symphony at Carnegie Hall as one of three conductors chosen for this event – alongside Michael Tilson Thomas and Tan Dun.
As a conductor and educator, this season Mr. Outwater leads the New World Symphony Orchestra in an in-depth focus on the music of Manuel de Falla in addition to appearances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Australian Youth Orchestra. He returns to the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and makes a debut appearance with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2009-2010 season, Mr. Outwater returned to the San Francisco Symphony for subscription series performances and also returned to the Chicago Symphony, New World Symphony, Columbus Symphony, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He made his debut appearances that season with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C., the St. Louis Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa and the Mexico City Philharmonic.
Edwin Outwater was Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony from 2001-2006. While there, he worked closely with Michael Tilson Thomas, accompanied the orchestra on tour and conducted numerous concerts each season. In July 2006 Mr. Outwater conducted the world premiere performance and recording of The Composer is Dead, by Nathaniel Stookey and Lemony Snicket which was recently released HarperCollins. In 2008, his recording with the San Francisco Symphony of the music of Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate was released to wide acclaim.
Mr. Outwater’s work in music education and community outreach has been widely acclaimed. In 2004 his education programs were given the Leonard Bernstein award for excellence in educational programming, and his Chinese New Year Program was given the MET LIFE award for community outreach. At the San Francisco Symphony, he conducted Family Concerts, Adventures in Music performances, which are heard by more than 25,000 students from San Francisco schools each year, and Concerts for Kids, which serve students from throughout Northern California. In Florida, Mr. Outwater designed the Florida Philharmonic Family Series and its Music for Youth program, which was heard annually by more than 40,000 fifth-grade students in South Florida.
ABOUT TITO MUNOZ
Lauded by the Cincinnati Enquirer for his “natural facility and convincing musicianship on the podium,” Tito Muñoz is increasingly recognized as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Recently appointed Music Director of the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, he previously served a three year tenure as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, appointed by Franz Welser-Möst in April 2007, and a League of American Orchestras Conducting Fellow. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
An alumnus of the National Conducting Institute, Mr. Muñoz made his professional conducting debut in 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra. That same year, he made his Cleveland Orchestra debut at the Blossom Music Festival at the invitation of David Zinman. The 2006-2007 season included a critically acclaimed subscription debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, stepping in for an ailing Krzysztof Penderecki. Other past engagements have included appearances with the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Eugene, Princeton, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He made his European debut with the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon-Provence in fall of 2007.
In the 2009/10 season, Mr. Muñoz made a critically acclaimed subscription debut with The Cleveland Orchestra and a return subscription appearance with the Cincinnati Symphony as well as debuts with the Toledo, Hartford, and El Paso Symphonies and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Other recent and upcoming engagements include return performances with the Detroit Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, and the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, and subscription debuts with the symphony orchestras of San Antonio, Albany, and Pasadena. In Europe, he will debut with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and the Opéra de Rennes, leading a production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw.
Since the summer of 2006, Mr. Muñoz has made regular appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. In the summer of 2009 he conducted performances with The Cleveland Orchestra and The Joffrey Ballet, which led to further performances in summer of 2010 as well as an invitation to tour with The Joffrey Ballet in the 2010/11 season. Other festival appearances have included the Chautauqua Music Festival, the Grant Park Music Festival, and Italy’s Ritratti 2008 festival.
Mr. Muñoz’s relationship with the Opéra National de Lorraine and the Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy began in spring of 2009 when he made his operatic debut with performances of Caballero’s Los sobrinos del Capitán Grant as well as successful subscription performances with the symphony, resulting in an immediate re-engagement for concerts in the spring of 2010 and the spring of 2011. His first complete season as Music Director begins in fall of 2011 with a production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress followed by a production of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Les Noces.
He is the winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s 2005 Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize and the 2006 Aspen Conducting Prize, and in summer 2007, he returned to Aspen as the festival’s Assistant Conductor. Also an accomplished violinist, Mr. Muñoz has performed in many of New York’s leading ensembles including the New York Virtuosi, Ensemble Sospeso, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, as well as numerous Broadway shows. As a studio musician he has recorded for Albany Records, RCA Victor and Sony.
ABOUT NICHOLAS MCGEGAN
Nicholas McGegan is loved by audiences and orchestras for performances that match authority with enthusiasm, scholarship with joy, and curatorial responsibility with evangelical exuberance. The London Independent calls him “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” and The New Yorker lauds him as “an expert in 18th-century style.”
Through nearly twenty-five years its music director, McGegan has established the San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra as the leading period performance band in America – and at the forefront of the ‘historical’ movement worldwide thanks to notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, the London Proms, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the International Handel Festival, Gottingen where he has been artistic director since 1991.
In Gottingen and with the Philharmonia Baroque he has defined an approach to period style that sets the current standard: probing, serious but undogmatic, recognising that the music of the past doesn’t belong in a museum or in academia but in vigorous engagement with an audience, for pleasure and delight on both sides of the platform edge.
‘If Nicholas McGegan is conducting’, wrote the Los Angeles Times, ‘closing your eyes means missing something vital. Other conductors may interpret baroque scores as plains of sewing machine rhythms and textures; McGegan finds in them rivulets, courses, hairpin turns and breezes gusting through valleys and up and around mountains… At every move, his musicians respond instantly, fluidly, and the music springs into life and stays alive’.
Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he was principal conductor of Sweden’s perfectly preserved 18th-century theatre Drottingholm 1993-6, running the annual festival there. And he has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed practice beyond the small world of period instruments to the wider one of conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting orchestras like the Concertgebouw, Suisse Romande, Halle, Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia, St. Louis, Toronto, and Sydney Symphonies, and the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics, as well as opera companies like Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington.
His discography of over 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna, which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination, and recent issues of the same composer’s Solomon, Samson, and Acis and Galatea (a rarity in that it unearths the little-known version adapted by Felix Mendelssohn). He is also credited with the first performance in modern times of Handel’s masterly but mislaid Gloria. And he has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals like Edinburgh, Ravinia and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. Mr. McGegan is committed to the next generation of musicians, frequently conducting and coaching students in residencies as part of the music programs at Yale and Juilliard.
Born in England, Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford and taught at the Royal College of Music, London. In 2010 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” His awards also include the Halle Handel Prize, an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Gottingen, and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of two decades’ distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque.
The citation on that curious day talked loftily of his achievement in presenting ‘great music that enriches lives, inspires passion for period instrument performance, connects audiences to history, preserves tradition, and celebrates creative genius’.
But as McGegan himself said when a journalist talked admiringly of his work with an orchestra: ‘I’m not working with them. I’m having fun with them’. It makes a difference.
ABOUT JOSE LUIS GOMEZ
The young Venezuelan-born, Spanish conductor Jose Luis Gomez was catapulted to international attention when he captured the First Prize at the 5th International Sir Georg Solti Conductor’s Competition in Frankfurt in September, 2010 by a sensational and rare unanimous decision of the jury.
Gomez’ electrifying energy, talent, and creativity earned him immediate acclaim from the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra – where he was appointed to the position of Assistant Conductor – a post newly created specifically for him by Paavo Jarvi and the orchestra directly upon the conclusion of the competition.
His showing in the Solti Competition also won him an immediate invitation to conduct La Boheme at the Oper Frankfurt in 2012 as well.
Maestro Gomez’ apprenticeship under conductors Lu Jia, Muhai Tang, and John Nelson paved the way for his sudden emergence as a conductor of major importance; and his experience as Assistant Concertmaster of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, as member of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and as a regular member of the Berlin Philharmonic chamber ensembles, has garnered him praise from the great conductors of the world.
From the age of 11, Gomez was Concertmaster of the Youth Orchestra of Zulia State – part of the El Sistema de Orquestas Juveniles de Venezuela – following which he earned his degree in music and violin from the Maracaibo Music Conservatory and pursued graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.
Maestro Gomez has conducted as part of the Besancon International Conducting Competition and has led the Castille y Leon Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Pescara Conservatory, and the Ensemble Stravinsky. This season, Gomez leads performances of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” in the Lombardia region of Italy through the ASLICO Opera association and he leads concert performances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Macao Symphony Orchestra and the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 2011-12 season, Mr Gomez will make his subscription debut concerts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, debut appearances with the Frankfurt Opera, and will lead a tour with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Valles of Catalunya, Spain among others.
ABOUT PETER BOYER
Peter Boyer has emerged in recent years as one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. His orchestral works have received over 275 public performances, by nearly 100 orchestras. He has conducted recordings of his music with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia. His works have received national broadcasts in the U.S. and abroad. He has received seven national awards for his work.
Conductor Keith Lockhart chose Boyer for the Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary commission honoring the legacy of John, Robert, and Ted Kennedy. Acclaimed actors Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and Cherry Jones narrated the premiere of Boyer’s The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers in May 2010, which was attended by many members of the Kennedy family, and received extensive national media attention. The Boston Pops also performed the work at Tanglewood with narrator Alec Baldwin, and released a recording on the BSO Classics label.
Orchestras which have performed Boyer’s music include the Dallas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Hartford Symphony, and dozens of others. Boyer recently concluded his term as Composer-in-Residence of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for the 2010-11 season.
Boyer’s major work Ellis Island: The Dream of America for actors and orchestra, which celebrates the historic American immigrant experience, has been his most successful composition to date. Premiered in 2002, the work has received over 120 live performances by more than 50 orchestras, making it one of the most-performed American orchestral works of the last decade. Boyer’s recording of this work was released by Naxos in its American Classics Series in 2005, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The League of American Orchestras’ Symphony magazine recently profiled Ellis Island as one of “a handful of recent works by living composers becoming orchestral standards.”
In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer is active in the film and television music industry. He has contributed orchestral arrangements to 20 Hollywood film scores, including the Oscar-winning Up, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible III, Speed Racer, Super 8 and Cars 2 (all for composer Michael Giacchino), Dolphin Tale and The Conspirator (for composer Mark Isham); twice arranged music for the Academy Awards, including the 2009 telecast; and composed music for The History Channel.
Boyer was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1970. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhode Island College, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He then studied privately with composer John Corigliano in New York, and moved to Los Angeles to study film & TV scoring at USC, where his teachers included the late Elmer Bernstein. Boyer has taught since 1996 at Claremont Graduate University, where he holds the Helen M. Smith Chair in Music and the rank of Full Professor.
ABOUT GEORGE LI
Sixteen-year-old YCA Winner, pianist George Li possesses brilliant virtuosity and interpretive depth far beyond his years. Rounding off last season playing for President Obama at the White House evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, along with capturing a prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award, George Li is well on the way to a flourishing career.
His first New York appearance opens the 51st Young Concert Artists Series in the Peter Marino Concert at Merkin Hall. YCA also presents his debut in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center, sponsored by the Alexander Kasza-Kasser Prize. At the Auditions, Mr. Li was awarded many special prizes: The Paul A. Fish Memorial Award for Career Development, the Sander Buchman Award; The Ruth Laredo Award, the John Browning Prize, and the Slomovic Prize for a Concerto Engagement.
Other 2011-2012 recitals include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Vancouver Recital Society, at Shriver Hall (MD) and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in Germany), among others. As soloist with orchestra, George Li performs with the Grand Rapids Symphony as part of the Gilmore Festival, the Akron Symphony, and has been re-engaged by the Spartanburg Philharmonic.
As First Prize winner of the first Cooper Competition at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he appeared as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra. He has also performed as soloist with orchestras including the Xiamen Philharmonic in China, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra in Venezuela, the Spartanburg, Boston and Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestras, and with “I Solisti di Perugia” in Italy.
Mr. Li was chosen to appear at the opening ceremony of Boston’s new Institute of Contemporary Art and the inauguration of President Tony Woodcock at the New England Conservatory. Mr. Li is a member of the New England Conservatory’s Vivace Trio, which was heard on “From the Top” on NPR and WNET, and performed for members of US Congress at the Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. George Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of ten. At ages six and seven, he won First Prize in the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association Competition. He attends the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and studies piano at the New England Conservatory with Wha Kyung Byun.
ABOUT RUIBIEN CHEN
Mr. Rueibin Chen’s distinguished career as an internationally acclaimed pianist has earned him a reputation for technical brilliance, immense energy, and intense artistic expression. His masterful performance of Rachmaninoff’s complete piano concertos (including the Paganini Rhapsody Op. 43) in two consecutive nights at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall garnered significant critical acclaim. The performance was considered to “be the first of its kind and has left a sensational imprint in the minds of the overflowed audience.” Such praise befits “one of those geniuses that come along once in twenty years.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
A Chinese-Austrian born in Taiwan, Chen has won a total of eighteen medals, five of them gold, in various international piano competitions in Tel Aviv (Rubinstein), in Warsaw (Chopin) ,Salt Lake City (Bachauer), Athens (Callas), Vienna, Manresa, and Italy (Rome, Rachmaninov, Bellini, and Stresa).
Chen received his first piano lessons from his father when he was five. At the age of thirteen, he was selected by the Taiwanese government in a national talent search and was sent to Vienna, Austria, where he obtained a concert diploma from the Vienna Conservatory. Subsequently, he received a soloist’s examination award from the Hannover Hochschule für Musik in Germany and then continued his study under the legendary Lazar Berman.
Chen made his European debut in the Grossensaal of the Konzerthaus in Vienna in 1984 to much acclaim. He has been invited to perform at many festivals, such as the International Salzburg Music Festival, Vienna Spring Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Hong Kong Festival, Taipei Music Festival, Taipei Arts Festival, the International Rachmaninoff Music Festival in Moscow, the Janáček Music Festival in Czechoslovakia, the Chopin Festivals in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, various festivals in Romania and the Auckland International Piano Festival.
Chen tours regularly throughout the world, performing in major concert halls such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington DC, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Kodak Theater in Hollywood, Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Opera de Monte Carlo, Warsaw Philharmonie, Bolshoi Hall in Moscow, F. Mann Auditorium Tel Aviv, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Symphony Hall in Osaka, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Beijing Music Hall, National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center in Taipei and Shanghai Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, Sydney Opera House. Since 2002, he has been the Artist-in-Residence of Hong Kong Radio Television.
ABOUT CAROLINE GOULDING
Violinist Caroline Goulding has performed as a soloist with some of North America’s premier orchestras including the orchestras of Cleveland, Toronto, National, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, New Mexico, Charlotte, Louisville, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Cleveland Pops and the Cincinnati Pops. Aside from her orchestral engagements, Caroline has appeared at venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the Kennedy Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, and the University of Georgia’s Ramsey Concert Hall. She has shared the stage with Béla Fleck, Anton Nel, Christopher O’Riley, Navah Perlman, Wendy Warner and Elaine Douvas.
On March 14, 2011 Caroline was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant at a reception and performance at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. The 2010-2011 season marked a cycle of solo orchestral engagements including debuts with the Louisville Orchestra, Sarasota Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, El Paso Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and return solo appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and Atlantic Classical Orchestra. Prior to receiving the Career Grant, Caroline won the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and is the recipient of the Helen Armstrong Violin Fellowship. She was presented by YCA in recital throughout the nation including debuts at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Hall in NYC, Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre in Washington DC and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. That same year, Caroline was awarded a Grammy nomination for her debut recording on the Telarc label.
Along with the nomination, Caroline’s debut recording hit Billboard Classical’s Top 15 as well as garnered attention from other venerable musicians, including violinist Jaime Laredo who voiced, “Caroline Goulding is one of the most gifted and musically interesting violinists I have heard in a long time; her playing is heartfelt and dazzling throughout.” Composer John Corigliano, whose Red Violin Caprices she recorded, said, “She gives a totally individual interpretation to my music. I think she will shortly become a very famous young woman and only hope that she gives my other violin works a glance.”
In a review of Caroline’s summer 2011 debut with the National Symphony Orchestra, Anne Midgette of the Washington Post stated, “Goulding is a skilled violinist well on her way to an important career.” Other highlights of the 2011-2012 season include debuts with the London Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Easter Music Festival Orchestra and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony as well as recital debuts at the Kansas City Harriman-Jewell Series, University of Florida, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC and Fundacion Sinfonia in the Dominican Republic. Return engagements include solo performances with the Dallas Symphony, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra of Spain and the Boise Philharmonic.
Along with her orchestral and recital appearances, Caroline has also made her way through national television and radio airwaves on NBC’s Today, MARTHA, hosted by Martha Stewart, PBS’s From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall, NPR’s Performance Today, From the Top, Sirius Satellite Radio, WNYC New York, CosmoGirl Online and is featured on Maestro Erich Kunzel’s last Telarc recording From the Top at the Pops, released in 2009. In December 2009, Caroline was named Musical America’s Artist of the Month. A past recipient of the Stradivari Society, Caroline currently plays the General Kyd Stradivarius (c 1720), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds.
ABOUT YULIA VAN DOREN
Consistently singled out for her “perfect baroque voice” (Seattle Times), young Russian-American soprano Yulia Van Doren has established herself as a rising star of the new generation of Baroque specialists. Recent seasons have included debuts with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Asheville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Tanglewood Music Festival, Vancouver Early Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall. Also a passionate interpreter of 20th- and 21st-century music, Yulia recently made her European debut singing the Hungarian première of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of her 2010-2011 season include the Cartagena International Music Festival, Colombia, where she appears in Bach’s B minor Mass with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the City of London Sinfonia, as well as Bach’s Coffee Cantata with the Brentano String Quartet; Messiah with the Portland Baroque Orchestra under Rinaldo Alessandrini and the Colorado Symphony; and two major roles with the Boston Early Music Festival: Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, and Manto in Steffani’s Niobe, BEMF’s centerpiece opera. The only singer to win top prizes in all four North American Bach vocal competitions, Yulia was also a winner of Astral Artists’ 2009 National Auditions.
ABOUT DONALD FOSTER
Donald T. Foster is one of Southern California’s most active clarinetists, serving as Principal Clarinetist of both the Pasadena and Santa Barbara Symphonies. He is a frequent auxiliary/substitute musician with the San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and is the Founding Artistic Director of Mládí, LA’ s first conductorless chamber orchestra. In addition, Don is very active in the motion picture and television studios, and can be heard on many soundtracks for feature films including Warhorse, Adventures of Tintin, Rango, Marley & Me, Disturbia and many more.
Foster graduated from the University of Southern California, receiving his Master of Music degree in 1996 while in the studios of Yehuda Gilad and Michele Zukovsky. He has received Fellowships from both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, the latter of which he attended for four consecutive summers. He is a former first prize winner of the Pasadena Instrumental Competition, and has won concerto competitions with such organizations as the Los Angeles Mozart Festival, YMF Debut Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival.
Prior engagements include serving as Principal Clarinet with the Philharmonie der Nationen based in Hamburg, Germany. While with the Philharmonie he performed in over 250 concerts in virtually every major city in Europe. He has also served as Principal Clarinet of the Colorado Music Festival, in Boulder, Colorado and has been featured in Central America with his reed trio Trianche as a featured ensemble for the Costa Rica Music Festival. He is currently on the faculty of the Moreno Valley campus at Riverside Community College and divides his time with residences in Palm Springs and the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.
Violinist Chee-Yun’s flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents. Charming, charismatic and deeply passionate about her art, Chee-Yun continues to carve a unique place for herself in the ever-evolving world of classical music.
Chee-Yun performs regularly with the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, and the Toronto, Houston, Seattle, Pittsburgh and National symphony orchestras. Additionally, she has appeared with the Atlanta Symphony, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and has performed with such distinguished conductors as Hans Graf, James DePriest, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Michael Tilson Thomas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Neeme Järvi, Pinchas Zukerman, Manfred Honeck and Giancarlo Guerrero. Internationally, Chee-Yun has toured with the Haifa Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Germany’s Braunschweig Orchestra and the MDR Radio Leipzig and performed with the St. Petersburg Camerata, the Bamberg Philharmonic, the Bilbao Symphony, the London Festival Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, and the KBS Symphony Orchestra. Her orchestral highlights include a concert with the Seoul Philharmonic conducted by Myung-Whun Chung that was broadcast on national network television, a benefit for UNESCO with the Orchestra of St. Lukes at Avery Fisher Hall, and her tours of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas conducting), and Japan with the NHK Symphony. Recent and upcoming engagements include return subscription weeks in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, as well as the Colorado and Austin symphony orchestras and the National Philharmonic.
As a recitalist, Chee-Yun has performed in many major US cities including New York, Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta. Career highlights include appearances at the Kennedy Center’s “Salute to Slava” gala honoring Mstislav Rostropovich, the Mostly Mozart Festival’s tour to Japan, a performance with Michael Tilson Thomas in the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and the US premiere of the Penderecki Sonata No. 2 with pianist Barry Douglas. Other recent highlights include recitals in St. Paul, Buffalo, Washington, DC, Omaha and Scottsdale, duo recitals with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and a performance at the American Ballet Theatre’s fall gala. Firmly committed to chamber music, Chee-Yun has toured with “Music from Marlboro” and appears frequently with Spoleto USA, a project she has been associated with since its inception. Additional chamber music appearances include the Ravinia, Aspen, Bravo! Vail Valley, La Jolla, Caramoor, Green Music, Santa Fe and Bridgewater festivals in the US, the Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, the Clandeboye Festival with Camerata Ireland in Northern Ireland, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival in Lucca, Italy, the Colmar Festival in France, the Beethoven and Penderecki festivals in Poland and the Kirishima Festival in Japan.
Chee-Yun has received exceptional acclaim as a recording artist since the release of her debut album of virtuoso encore pieces in 1993. Her recent recording of the Penderecki Violin Concerto No. 2 on Naxos was acclaimed as “an engrossing, masterly performance” (The Strad Magazine) and “a performance of staggering virtuosity and musicality” (American Record Guide). Her releases on the Denon label include Mendelssohn’s E Minor Violin Concerto, Vieuxtemps’ Violin Concerto No. 5, Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole, and Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3, with the London Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Lopez-Cobos, a disc of three French violin sonatas (Debussy, Saint-Saëns and Fauré), and the violin sonatas of Szymanowski and Franck. Her most recent Denon disc features the violin sonatas of Brahms and Strauss. Two compilation discs, Vocalise d’amour, and The Very Best of Chee-Yun, feature highlights of Chee-Yun’s earlier recordings. In 2007, Chee-Yun recorded the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Camerata Ireland, pianist Barry Douglas and cellist Andrés Diaz, for Satirino Records. In 2008, Decca/Korea released “Serenata Notturno,” an album of light classics that went platinum within six months of its release.
Chee-Yun has been heard frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and on WQXR and WNYC radio in New York City. She has also been featured on KTV, a children’s program on the cable network CNBC, Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, on Public Radio International and numerous syndicated and local radio programs across the United States and abroad. She has appeared on PBS as a special guest on Victor Borge’s Then and Now 3, in a live broadcast at Spivey Hall in Atlanta concurrent with the Olympic Games, and on ESPN performing the theme for the X Games. In Fall 2009, she also appeared in an episode of HBO’s hit series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Chee-Yun’s first public performance at age 8 took place in her native Seoul after she won the Grand Prize of the Korean Times Competition. At 13, she came to the United States and was invited to perform the Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5 in a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic. Two years later, she appeared as soloist with the New York String Orchestra under Alexander Schneider at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In 1989, she won the Young Concert Artist’s international competition, and a year later became the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In Korea, Chee-Yun studied with Nam Yun Kim. In the United States, she has worked with Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Daniel Phillips and Felix Galimir (chamber music) at The Juilliard School.
In addition to her active performance and recording schedule, Chee-Yun is a dedicated and enthusiastic educator. She gives master classes around the world and has held several teaching posts at notable music schools and universities. Her past faculty positions have included serving as the resident Starling Soloist and Adjunct Professor of Violin at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Visiting Professor of Music (Violin) at Indiana University School of Music. In August 2007, she was appointed Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Violin at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Chee-Yun plays the Stradivarius “Ex-Strauss” (Cremona, 1708), which is on loan to her from Samsung.
About the Pasadena Symphony and POPS
“…Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony sent me straight to the thesaurus for more options to ‘enthusiasm.’ They include eagerness, fervor, passion, gusto, zeal, zest, keenness, excitement, fire. All will do.
Vitality, drive, vivacity, dash, vim, gusto, brio, dynamism, verve and spirit are other suitable synonyms. You get the point.” – Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times. October 30, 2011
“…full of pulsating energy from first note to last… the strings were lushly resonant, the wind principals were at the top of their games, and the brass rang out with gleaming vigor.” – Robert Thomas, Pasadena Star News. November 2, 2011.
The Pasadena Symphony Association was founded in 1928 by Conductor Reginald Bland. Originally named the Pasadena Civic Orchestra, its first members were mostly volunteer musicians, many of whom were students of Bland. The annual operating budget was $3,500, which was funded entirely by the City of Pasadena.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Southern California’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.
In the fall of 2007, the Pasadena Symphony incorporated the Pasadena POPS into its Association under the new name Pasadena Symphony and POPS. This merger created an expanded Classics and POPS series providing the community with a full spectrum of live symphonic concerts year-round. Starting summer 2012, the Pasadena POPS’ summer home will relocate to Los Angeles County Arboretum.
The Pasadena Symphony provides a musical experience like no other at the Ambassador Auditorium – known as the Carnegie Hall of the West. Internationally recognized, Presidential Medal of Arts Recipient, Maestro James DePreist, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Artistic Advisor. The Pasadena POPS welcomed Marvin Hamlisch to the podium as its new Principal Pops Conductor on July 23, 2011.
A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region since 1972 through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra comprised of over 160 gifted middle school students from more than 40 schools all over the Southland. The PYSO most recently performed on several episodes of the popular television show GLEE.